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Building-personal-injury-cases-for-maximum-compensation-300x300Earlier this week, I took the deposition of a local orthopedic surgeon in a client’s car accident case. I take several medical depositions each month. So, it’s not unusual to be in a deposition. It’s part of our process to help clients by building their cases. The case involved a car accident. The crash actually happened pretty close to my office in Huntsville. An uninsured driver crashed into my client at a busy intersection along University Drive. Because an uninsured driver caused the Huntsville accident, we made a claim against my client’s own auto insurer for uninsured coverage. The carrier — Allstate! Yes, I have a pretty negative opinion about how that company treats its own insureds. Are you really in good hands? Any Alabama lawyer who regularly handles car accident and injury cases likely agrees with me.

As is so often the case, Allstate offered practically nothing to my client after her wreck. But, then we took the ortho’s deposition. We obtained his testimony for use at trial. After his testimony, the adjuster suddenly started calling and wanting to pay. Developing the medical evidence increases case value significantly! That’s an obvious no-brainer. Yet, so many lawyers simply refuse to prepare their cases! I know lawyers who claim to handle car accident cases but have never taken key testimony from medical providers. It’s shocking to think how little value they add to cases.

How Settlement Mill Law Firms Fail Clients By Failing To Build Case Value!

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I’ve written several times about the need for side guards on large commercial trucks. Deadly under-ride accidents could easily be prevented with side guards. Commercial trucks often have a very high ground clearance. Maybe you’ve ridden next to a large truck on the roadway and noticed how easily your car could go underneath. That’s a huge danger for people in cars. In side under-ride accidents, car tops can be sheared. These accidents almost always result in horrible injuries or deaths. Several years ago, I helped a family who lost several members in a deadly Limestone County accident where the top of a car was sheared off. The scene was horrific. A few simple safety requirements could have prevented that tragedy.

The danger is not just limited to cars. On our roads and highways, motorcyclists are also at risk. In urban areas, both pedestrians and cyclists are an issue. Previous studies have noted numerous pedestrian and cyclist deaths where a victim went underneath the side of a large truck.

For many years, safety advocates have asked Congress to act. In Europe, side guards have long been a standard safety feature. Numerous research studies show that lives are saved by this simple equipment. Yet, Congress has failed to act. Although our Federal government has failed to take the safety issue seriously, many of our largest cities have adopted side guards on their municipal fleets.

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We can help with the workers' compensation benefits you need after an injury.I recently read a blog post titled, Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Injured Truck Drivers? It’s an important question. The Huntsville law firm posting that content asked the right question. But, that firm’s post failed to provide a real or helpful answer! It really failed to answer the question at all. It was just clickbait with keywords and a call to action!

The article was simply generic content stuffed full of keywords listing different injuries with a call to action asking readers to call the lawyers. The generic answer provided by this firm — “a truck driver must be legally categorized as an employee. If a truck driver is classified as an independent contractor, he or she is not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.” What? Sure, employees are entitled to benefits while independent contractors are not. Because employees are entitled to workers compensation, a real answer is very important.

But, the vague answer in the firm’s post tells the reader nothing about Alabama law and how it actually classifies workers. The vague answer provides injured truck drivers with no real information to help. The lawyers in that firm are really good but they’ve outsourced their content to a non-lawyer ghostwriter. That’s bad for legal consumers. Let’s look at truck drivers and actually explore the classification issue.

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Huntsville Workers Compensation AdvocatesAre you being watched? If you have an Alabama work comp claim, the insurance company may conduct surveillance on you. I often tell my injured clients — If the insurance company videos you, we will only see the 5 minutes when you felt good and looked unhurt. We’ll never see the hours of agony and pain.

My favorite surveillance story involves a work comp case I tried many years ago in Huntsville. The insurance company and its lawyer fought aggressively. On the eve of trial, they expected to win. They thought they had surveillance that would destroy our case. The video showed a man lifting big truck tires, loading his truck and performing some pretty heavy work. That sounds pretty bad when your case involves a lower back injury and significant physical restrictions. But, they had a huge problem! A huge problem! And, they did not know it. The guy on the video was not my client. It was the wrong guy. The video showed my client’s brother. Plus, we had proof my client was somewhere else on the day of the surveillance. It made for some fun courtroom action at trial. Nothing like bursting the insurance company’s bubble! We won the case for our injured client.

Over the years, I’ve dealt with surveillance issues many times. It’s not an issue in every case. Most of the time, it’s not an issue at all. But, it is something every lawyer should discuss with his injured client.

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Last month, I wrote a lengthy article on five big mistakes that can impact a work-related injury claim in Alabama. You can read that earlier post at Top Five Mistakes Workers Make After A Job-Related Accident.

I talk to injured Alabama workers every week. We discuss a lot of workers’ compensation issues. Often, callers have made one of these mistakes before contacting us. Sometimes, we can help fix the situation. But, in some cases, it’s too late to help. So, I hope the information in my longer article is useful.

With these issues in mind, I put together this quick infographic which notes these five big mistakes we frequently see. If you are hurt on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be very important to your health, to your finances and to your family. Feel free to keep my infographic or read my longer article. If you have any questions about Alabama workers’ compensation benefits, let me know.

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Huntsville Truck Accident LawyersImpaired Driving. I’ve discussed the danger of impaired driving many times on this blog. Years ago, impaired driving meant drunk driving. Alcohol was the primary problem. With years of hard work by law enforcement and advocacy groups, we saw significant decreases in dangerous drunk driving.

However, in the last couple decades, drugged driving has eclipsed drunk driving. Now, we face a huge safety issue due to drivers impaired by drugs. Often, the drugs are prescription medications. We all know the huge problem created by narcotic pain medications. Too many drivers are also impaired by illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.

When I write a blog about truck driving safety, I often receive some backlash from upset truckers. Any critique of trucking is viewed as an attack on all drivers. That’s certainly not my intention. Truck driving is a difficult and solitary job. We have many safe, professional and dedicated drivers who work to deliver the products and services we all need. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of representing countless truck drivers hurt in a work-related accident. Like every profession, a few bad apples cause all the problems. We have too many needless injuries and deaths in this country from those few bad apples.

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I recently wrote a post that discussed four of the most common accidents involving worksite trenches. You can read the post by clicking HERE. I wrote my earlier article because of the frequent number of deadly trench-related accidents across Alabama. In just the last couple years, we’ve suffered deadly trench collapses in Huntsville, Madison and Hoover. In addition to those fatal accidents, a Tuscaloosa company lost workers when a trench in Mississippi collapsed.

With a little safety effort, most deadly trench accidents could be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published standards and a clear fact sheet related to trenches on worksites. Safety professionals are well-aware of the hazards and the easy steps which would prevent disasters.

For detailed information, you can read my prior article. After writing that earlier article, I created the following slideshow on the issue:

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Huntsville Car Accident LawyerDo you have a referral arrangement with a specific chiropractor or doctor? It’s a question some callers ask. The answer is, NO. If you suffered a serious car accident injury, the worst thing you can do is hire a lawyer who has a secret referral relationship with a specific chiropractor or doctor. In a recent video, Virginia lawyer Ben Glass says these secret relationships are “the kiss of death for your case.”

We’ve all heard the television commercials! We’ve all seen the billboards! Please call, the lawyer begs. These are settlement mill lawyers. They are operating an assembly line process. Sign the client. Refer the client to a special chiropractor. Inflate the medical charges. Make a settlement demand on the insurance company. Take what you can get. (Take what “little” you can get.). That assembly line process fails clients who are truly injured. It benefits only the lawyer and his chosen clinic. That’s wrong.

The settlement mill lawyers all over television and billboards do not want you to know the truth. They are running a sham that hurts already injured people a second time.

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Blackwell Law Firm / HuntsvilleYou suffered an accident at work. You are hurting. You see the company doctor. Then, the insurance company denies your claim. The insurance company refuses to provide more treatment or benefits. The adjuster claims you cannot get benefits because you suffered a prior injury to the same part of your body. The adjuster claims your new injury is just a “recurrence” of a prior injury, years earlier. Of course, the time limit for filing a claim on the old injury has long since expired.

Many times, the adjuster is simply wrong. The insurance company wrongly denied your claim. And, you are likely entitled to work comp benefits.

This is a common problem. It’s not unusual to have a prior injury, especially if you are working a hard job. Keep in mind — Workers compensation benefits are NOT limited to people who were in perfect health. Although you may have hurt the same area of your body previously, you may still be entitled to benefits for your new accident. Even if your prior accident was pretty serious or left you with some problems, you may still be entitled to benefits for your new accident.

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Decatur Work Comp AttorneysYesterday evening, I read that an injured Daikin America worker remains in the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) more than two months after his exposure to a chemical on the job at Daikan in Decatur. According to reports, three workers were hospitalized following the July 2 accident. One of the three workers has since passed away from his injuries.

Was this chemical exposure an isolated incident? No. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a worker also died in 2019 following an exposure at the same plant.

Think about that! A worker dies following an exposure in 2019. Two years later, three more workers are exposed. Hopefully, we can learn what happened in these exposures. I’m real interested in learning what Daikin did (or did not do) to correct its safety procedures after the first incident!

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